Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Can a stock/original Atari ST boot from a hard drive?

It has been my belief that one of the nice features of the original Atari ST is that it has support "out-of-the-box" for a hard disk drive connected via its built-in ACSI port- similar to ...

hard-disk boot atari-st  
asked by Brian H Score of 20
answered by Alex Hajnal Score of 19

What was the first software company to go public?

I'm trying to determine which was the first purely software company to launch an IPO on a major stock exchange. By this I mean a company whose revenue comes directly from software unit sales, rather ...

history software market  
asked by Brian H Score of 13
answered by Rick Smith Score of 16

Why does the x86 not have an instruction to obtain its instruction pointer?

This has always confused me. Why can you not directly obtain the IP, and instead have to go through some odd assembly hoops such as calling a function whose only purpose is to push its own return ...

instruction-set design-choices x86  
asked by Michael Stachowsky Score of 9
answered by Raffzahn Score of 15

How can I connect a Psion Series 5 PDA to a 64-bit Windows PC?

I have inherited a Psion PDA Series 5, from 1997, along with a serial port RS232 cable, and power supply. It takes industry standard Compact Flash cards, which can be removed and used to transfer ...

serial rs232 psion  
asked by Mark Williams Score of 8
answered by Mark Williams Score of 12

Which keyboard replaced the IBM Model M?

Setting aside the fact that the Model M keyboard is still made by Unicomp, which keyboard did IBM market as the successor to their Model M (aka "Enhanced") keyboard? My understanding is that ...

keyboards ibm  
asked by Brian Reading Score of 5
answered by Brian H Score of 4

What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

I just learned from a YouTube video that in Japan there was an add-on for the original Nintendo Famicom console that included a keyboard (HVC-007) and compact cassette tape player & recorder (HVC-...

cassette-tape file-format famicom  
asked by hippietrail Score of 1

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

When did assembly source code begin to be written in lowercase?

In nearly all the assembly source files and published listings I read up to the early 1980s, the labels, mnemonics, and operands were written in all uppercase. Just a few years later, I noticed 80x86 ...

assembly software-development  
asked by Paolo Amoroso Score of 36
answered by Will Hartung Score of 41

Why were computer customers called "Users"?

The term User for computer hardware and software customers has been universal for as long as I can remember. It has always applied to both hardware and software customers - There were "Lotus Users" ...

history terminology  
asked by Brian H Score of 58
answered by Michael Graf Score of 101

Why is the keyboard and cellphone / telephone numbers in a different order?

Cellphone / Telephone have the seven bottom-left and the one top-left. While the keyboard has the seven top-left and the one bottom-left How did this come to be? Is there an interesting computing ...

keyboards  
asked by Neil Meyer Score of 136
answered by Raffzahn Score of 189

Why did the NES not allow rotated sprites?

I'm taking a look at the chapter on sprites from a NES programming guide at famicom.party. There is a little table which describes what the different sprite attribute flags do; 7 Flips sprite ...

nes design-choices sprite  
asked by Joe Score of 32
answered by OmarL Score of 79

How exactly does Sonic & Knuckles' 'Lock-On Technology' work?

The cartridge of Sonic & Knuckles is a little special: It flips open to allow you to connect another Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in US) cartridge to the top of it like so: I know why the Sega ...

gaming game-cartridge sega-genesis  
asked by Robotnik Score of 64
answered by Matheus Moreira Score of 89

What are the "virtual machines" that were running on 80386 and later x86 CPUs before full hardware virtualization?

When reading techy articles about older Windows versions I often come across the term "Virtual machine". Apparently even Windows 3.11 had some sort of virtual-machine-thing going on in it, ...

x86 windows virtual-machine  
asked by Vilx- Score of 28
answered by Raffzahn Score of 46

Why did IBM make the PC BIOS source code public?

IBM released the IBM 5150 Technical Reference manual in August, 1981, and included in it the fully commented source code listing for the BIOS. I find this odd for two reasons: IBM must have realized ...

history ibm-pc bios  
asked by Brian H Score of 73
answered by cjs Score of 103
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